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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, established in 1873. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

 

Equipment, Supplies (Local)


 

LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH


Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!

For over 130 years the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association has been serving the Los Angeles Beekeeping Community. Our group membership is composed of commercial and small scale beekeepers, bee hobbyists, and bee enthusiasts. So whether you came upon our site by design or just 'happened' to find us - welcome! Our primary purpose is the care and welfare of the honeybee. We achieve this through education of ourselves and the general public, supporting honeybee research, and practicing responsible beekeeping in an urban environment. 

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others."  Saint John Chrysostom 

Next LACBA Meeting: Monday, June 5, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6PM.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #5, Saturday, June 10, 2017, 9AM-Noon, hosted at The Valley Hive. See our Beekeeping Class 101 page for details & directions. BEE SUITS REQUIRED.

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping 

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Wednesday
May102017

Firefighters Protecting the Bees!

Action News Jacksonville   May 10, 2017

FIREFIGHTERS PROTECTING THE BEES:

Firefighters from New Mexico dug fire lines around bee hives in the path of the West Mims wildfire.
Thanks to all the firefighters helping to keep all creatures safe!
(Photo from Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge)
Action News Jacksonville

Wednesday
May102017

Can Mushrooms Save the Honey Bee?

bioGraphic     Produced by Louie Schwartzberg    April 25, 2017

A blood-sucking mite is wreaking havoc on honey bees - but scientists have discovered a surprising new way to fight back.

A decade ago, honey bee populations around the world began declining at an alarming rate. In the early years of this trend, beekeepers lost 60 percent or more of their hives to a mysterious phenomenon that came to be known as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). In each of these cases, worker bees simply disappeared, and it doesn’t take long for a colony to collapse without workers to provide food and to care for the young. Although this trend seems to have leveled off somewhat in recent years, the current average rate of 30 percent annual mortality is still nearly double the average rate reported prior to 2006.

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are native to Europe, western Asia and Africa, but have also been introduced to many other parts of the world to serve as pollinators of agricultural crops. Today, honey bees pollinate one-third of all the crops we consume—nearly a thousand varieties in all—and are by far the world’s most important and economically valuable pollinators for commercial agriculture. In the U.S. alone, their annual value is estimated at $5–14 billion.

Since the first reports of dead and dying honey bee colonies began to stream in, scientists have scrambled to determine the cause, or causes, of CCD. One threat in particular stood out as a major cause of honey bee declines: varroa mites (Varroa destructor). These tiny parasitic arachnids weaken adult and juvenile bees by sucking their blood. They also transmit a number of viruses that can spread throughout a colony like wildfire. To make matters worse, the mites reproduce quickly and, because of this, can rapidly evolve resistance to traditional chemical pesticides.

While many scientists have continued to search for causes of honey bee declines, others have turned their attention to developing new, more sustainable solutions to these threats. One of the more surprising and promising of these strategies is the use of compounds produced by a widely-distributed mushroom (Metarhizium anisopliae) that is known to parasitize a number of different insects. Researchers from Washington State University have found that spores and extracts from this mushroom are particularly toxic to varroa mites but—in low doses—leave bees unharmed. In fact, bees in hives treated with Metarhizium tend to be much healthier and live longer than those in untreated hives. While large-scale trials are just now being implemented, early results suggest that a common mushroom may hold the answer to at least one major driver of honey bee declines.

Wednesday
May102017

How the Varroa Mite Co-Opts Honey Bee Behaviors to Its Own Advantage

Entomology Today    By Entomology Today   May 10, 2017

While the Varroa destructor mite is not a highly mobile insect on its own, it takes advantage of the behaviors of honey bees in managed beekeeping settings to spread. In particular, bee colonies in close proximity to each other and less swarming allow mite populations to grow, according to new research. (Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org)

As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be giving the parasite the exact conditions it needs to spread nearly beyond control.

In an article published yesterday in Environmental Entomology, researchers argue that the Varroa mite has “co-opted” several honey bee behaviors to its own benefit, allowing it to disperse widely even though the mite itself is not a highly mobile insect. The mite’s ability to hitchhike on wandering bees, the infections it transmits to bees, and the density of colonies in managed beekeeping settings make for a deadly combination.

“Beekeepers need to rethink Varroa control and treat Varroa as a migratory pest,” says Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, Ph.D., research leader and location coordinator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona, and lead author of the research.

In the wild, bee colonies tend to survive despite Varroa infestations, and colonies are usually located far enough apart to prevent mites from hitching rides to other colonies on foraging bees. Wild bee colonies’ natural habit of periodically swarming—when the colony grows large enough that a portion of its bees splinter off to create a new colony elsewhere—also serves as a mechanism for thinning out the density of mite infestations and their associated pathogens. In managed honey bee settings, though, these dynamics are disrupted, DeGrandi-Hoffman says. Colonies are kept in close proximity, and swarming is prevented.

DeGrandi-Hoffman, USDA-ARS colleague Henry Graham, and Fabiana Ahumada of AgScience Consulting, conducted an 11-month study of 120 honey bee colonies in one commercial bee operation, comparing those treated with mite-targeting insecticide (miticide) in the spring and fall with those treated only in the fall, and they found no significant difference in the results: more than half of the colonies were lost across the board. This aligns with what has been seen by beekeepers and researchers alike in recent years: Varroa populations continue to grow even after being treated with effective miticides. But why? The answer may be in its dispersal mechanisms.

The researchers also conducted mathematical simulations of Varroa mite population dynamics to examine the effects of both migration of foragers between colonies and swarming. When bees can wander into other colonies—either to “rob” them of their honey or because they’ve simply lost their way—Varroa populations across colonies climb. Likewise, prohibiting colonies from splintering periodically via swarming also leads mite populations to rise.

In the wild, DeGrandi-Hoffman and her colleagues note, driving a colony to collapse is against Varroa mites’ own interest; if the colony dies, the mites die with it. But in commercial beekeeping settings, increasing infestation of a colony activates the dispersal mechanisms the mites need to spread. Weakened foragers are more likely to wander to other colonies, and weakened colonies are more likely to see foragers from healthy colonies visit to rob them of honey. In both cases, mites can hitch a ride from one colony to another.

It all adds up to a critical point for managed honey bee industry. The researchers cite the need for new integrated pest management strategies to treat Varroa destructor as a migratory pest, as well as for further research into the specifics of Varroa dispersal.

“Colony losses in the U.S. are at unsustainable levels for commercial beekeepers. These beekeepers supply colonies for the pollination of crops that represent one-third of U.S. agriculture and are essential components of heart healthy and cancer-prevention diets,” says DeGrandi-Hoffman. “This research provides evidence that the tried and true ways of controlling Varroa are no longer feasible, and that new methods that are designed for control of a migratory pest are required.”

https://entomologytoday.org/2017/05/10/how-the-varroa-mite-co-opts-honey-bee-behaviors-to-its-own-advantage/

Read More:
Are Dispersal Mechanisms Changing the Host–Parasite Relationship and Increasing the Virulence of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Managed Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies? “Are Dispersal Mechanisms Changing the Host–Parasite Relationship and Increasing the Virulence of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Managed Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies?”  Environmental Entomology

Wednesday
May102017

These Photos Show the Stunning Diversity of North America’s Native Bees

Slate.com    By Jordan G. Teicher


Metallic green bee, Augochloropsis metallica, collecting nectar and pollen from a
black-eyed susan.  South Carolina.

In 2014, Clay Bolt, a self-described natural history photographer, started photographing bees in his Bozeman, Montana, garden after reading about colony collapse disorder, the phenomenon devastating honey bee populations around the world. Curious about what he’d captured, he found the bees in his photos weren’t honey bees, which are native to Europe, but rather two different species of native North American bees. In North America alone, Bolt was surprised to learn, there are more than 4,000 native bee species.

“As I began to do more research, I realized that so little was known about our native species, and so at that moment I realized that I could use my photography to begin to tell some of those stories,” he said. 

Continue reading and view more amazing images: http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2016/05/02/clay_bolt_photographs_native_north_american_bees_for_his_project_beautiful.html

Saturday
May062017

What Does Honey Have to do With Horse Racing?

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby was this weekend. In the olden days of horse racing, jockeys rode bareback, and used honey to glue themselves to the horse.

Image: Horse Racing Salvator and Tenny (lithograph circa. 1890) Currier & Ives, 1890.

Alden Times, December 7, 1883, Alden, Iowa

Old Time Racing

How the Jockeys Were Glued On Their Horses Instead of Using Saddles -The Great Grey Eagle - Wagner Race. in 1838

"I guess I am about the oldest turfman in America," said Henry Farris. The speaker was an old man of 74 years with a frank, open face, and pleasant address.

"I attended the first race that was ran on a regular course in Kentucky. It took place in the fall of the year 1817, on a track near Grab Orchard, Ky., which afterward became famous as the Spring Hill course.

"I remember how the jockeys used to ride in the olden days. They had no saddles, and each man who mounted a horse was required to wear home-made linen pants. A vial of honey was poured on the back of the horse, and the honey coming in contact with the raw linen, formed an adhesion sufficiently strong to keep the rider in his position and enable him to ride with safety."

"I trained the horse which won the stakes in the first exciting race in Kentucky. I speak of the famous horse Josh Bell, who ran three heats in 1:50 over the course in Lexington. This was in 1837. …"

Wikimedia: 
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:No_Known_Restrictions_Horse_Racing,_Currier_&_Ives_Lithograph,_1890_(LOC)_(489398731).jpg

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

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